‘Moderate mental health’ startup Bloom, a digital mental health ‘self-therapy’ startup, raises a $8M seed round, led by Berlin-based VC Target Global.The latest Tweet by TechCrunch states, ‘“Self-therapy” startups are blooming in the ‘moderate mental health’ space . ‘ 📲 “Self-therapy” Startups Are Blooming in the ‘moderate Mental Health’ Space – Latest Tweet by TechCrunch.Last year, OpenAI announced the OpenAI Startup Fund, a tranche through which it and its partners, including Microsoft, are investing in early-stage AI companies tackling major problems. The investment values Mem at $110 million post-money and brings the startup’s total raised to $29 million. Co-founded by Kevin Moody and Dennis Xu, Mem differentiates itself from traditional note-taking apps by emphasizing “lightweight organization,” in Moody and Xu’s words.
Reddit is rolling out a new “community muting” feature to give users more control over what they do and don’t want to see on the platform. The new feature is launching on Reddit’s mobile apps over the next few weeks. Reddit plans to expand the feature to the desktop version of its platform in the coming months.The motto over at Twitter is clearly a throwback “move fast and break things” at the moment under new ruler Elon Musk, and the latest thing to break is the just-introduced $8 monthly Twitter Blue tier, which includes a shiny “verified” checkmark indistinguishable from the ones that Twitter used to hand out selectively to high-profile accounts. The social network updated its Twitter Blue info page to note [update: the text was actually live as of the launch yesterday] that any accounts freshly created on or after Wednesday, November 9, will not be able to subscribe for now. Twitter Blue terms on November 10 noting accounts created after November 9 can’t sign up for Twitter Blue.Speedoc, a health tech platform that brings hospital care to homes, has raised $28 million in pre-Series B funding. The round included Bertelsmann Investments, Shinhan Venture Investment and Mars Growth. Returning investor Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, which led Speedoc’s $5 million Series A in 2020, also participated.Waymo has opened up its fully driverless ride-hail service in downtown Phoenix to members of the general public. Previously, the company had only been operating a commercial service with no safety driver behind the wheel for participants in its “trusted tester” program. The expansion in Phoenix is yet another sign of Waymo’s accelerated push towards commercialization.
In his first emails to Twitter staff, Musk talks about ending remote work and battling verified spam
More than 10 days after taking over Twitter, Elon Musk addressed the company’s employees for the first time in a series of emails. According to a report from Bloomberg, the new CEO asked workers to be ready for “difficult times ahead.” At the same time, he asked them to mandatorily work from the office unless an employee received a personal exemption.Pineapple, an app that’s aiming to reshape professional networking for Gen Z, is officially launching to the public today. The idea behind Pineapple is to give young professionals a way to network with others through a visual story profile that’s kind of like a digital portfolio. The professional network is the brainchild of Pineapple’s 22-year-old co-founder and CEO David Diamond, who got an early start in tech as a product design intern at Intercom at age 15.Enter Tellus. With mortgage interest rates having more than doubled since a year ago, one might think that this is not the best time to be a digital mortgage lender. What they are seeking is called a super jumbo loan, which is designed for people that actually don’t have a ready to use mortgage solution.Audi and battery recycler Redwood Materials are teaming up to collect end-of-life batteries from cell phones, electric toothbrushes and other lithium-ion-powered devices at participating dealerships nationwide. Beginning in November, consumers can deposit their laptops, cell phones, e-bikes, e-scooters, electric toothbrushes, vacuum cleaners, power drills and other rechargeable devices at the dealerships. The recycling bins will be available for the “foreseeable future in select dealerships,” a spokeswoman said.
A dual Russian and Canadian national linked to the LockBit ransomware operation has been arrested over his alleged involvement in attacks targeting critical infrastructure and large industrial groups worldwide. Mikhail Vasiliev, 33, was arrested in Ontario, Canada on October 26 following an investigation led by the French National Gendarmerie with the help of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, the FBI, and the Canadian Royal Canadian Mounted Police.The world’s largest crypto exchange by volume, Binance, said it would walk away from a deal with the third largest crypto exchange by volume, FTX. On Tuesday, Binance signed a letter of intent to purchase its troubled competitor, FTX, in what appeared to be a potential bailout of the latter amid a liquidity crunch. Binance backed out after reviewing the company’s structure and books, it said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.Excess inventory, including returned items, from e-commerce, logistics and retail companies often ends up being disposed. Manila-based Humble Sustainability is a circular economy startup that wants to keep it out of the Philippines’ landfills. The company announced today it has raised $750,000 in an oversubscribed seed round led by Seedstars International Ventures, with participation from iSeed Ventures and angel investors including Ula co-founder Alan Wong, Sagar Achanta (who has held product leadership roles at Amazon), Booking.com and Disney+, and investors Paco Sandejas and Richard Eldridge.The 38-year-old launched the first episode of her podcast, Witches Anonymous, which she co-hosts with Michelle Campbell Mason.
Celonis has made a big impact since it launched in 2011, raising $2.4 billion along the way. Its most recent investment, a $1 billion raise in August, was on a $13.2 billion post-money valuation, the kind of money you haven’t been seeing in 2022. The company has primarily made its reputation by using software for process mining, figuring out how work flows through a business and finding ways to make it more efficient.Zoom is working with Tesla to bring video conferencing into its vehicles. “You’ve been zooming from your home, your office, your phone and even your TV,” Nitasha Walia, group product manager at Zoom Video Communications, said Tuesday.Ouster and Velodyne, two lidar companies, have agreed to a merger in an all-stock transaction, the companies said Monday. Both Ouster and Velodyne will maintain a 50% stake in the new company, according to the agreement that was signed on November 4. It’s also because many of these companies, including Ouster and Velodyne, went public via special purpose acquisition (SPAC) at potentially inflated valuations that were based on projected revenue, not actual revenue.DoorDash is teaming up with Alphabet’s Wing to offer customers an easier way to arrange for goods to be delivered via drone. Beginning this week, a small number of DoorDash users in Logan, Australia will be able to order certain convenience and grocery items through the DoorDash app and have them delivered by a Wing drone, typically in 15 minutes or less, Wing says. The experience looks much like it does with a typical DoorDash delivery.
And the winner of Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF 2022 is…Minerva Lithium
TechCrunch Disrupt 2022 — the first in-person Disrupt in three years — is in the books. It began with 20: As seasoned TechCrunch readers will know, startups participating in the Startup Battlefield were handpicked to compete in the event. During the first two days of Disrupt, the companies pitched before judges — multiple groups of VCs and tech leaders — for a chance to win $100,000 and the coveted Battlefield Cup.Sequoia India is in advanced stages of deliberations to invest over $50 million in K12 Techno Services, a startup that offers a range of services to education institutions and also runs its own chain of schools, doubling down on a firm that it first backed over a decade ago, two sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. K12 Techno Services — which has raised more than $75 million in previous rounds, according to Tracxn — also engaged with TPG and Accel in recent weeks but has decided to move ahead with existing backer Sequoia India, one of the sources said. It’s unclear if anyone other than Sequoia is also investing in the round.Education options during and after incarceration have never been particularly extensive, despite the best intentions of educators. Emerge Career is working on changing that, and its early success in putting formerly incarcerated folks to work is attracting investment from both VCs and government programs. It was only August when Emerge first appeared as it came out of Y Combinator’s latest batch, and I covered its initial ambitions and approach then.Two months after the U.S. choked off China’s access to two of Nvidia’s high-end microchips, the American semiconductor design giant unveiled a substitute with a reduced processing speed for its second-largest market. The Nvidia A800 graphic processing unit is “another alternative product to the Nvidia A100 GPU for customers in China,” a spokesperson for Nvidia said in a statement to TechCrunch. “The A800 meets the U.S. government’s clear test for reduced export control and cannot be programmed to exceed it.”. SpaceX has launched its Falcon Heavy rocket on a mission for the U.S. Space Force. This is the fourth launch of the company’s heavy payload launch vehicle, which first flew in 2018. Today’s launch also marks SpaceX’s 50th in 2022.End-to-end encrypted messaging app Signal is rolling out a new Stories feature to all users on Android and iOS, the company announced on Monday. From there, you can choose to share your Stories with everyone in your phone’s contact list who uses Signal, anyone you’ve had a one-on-one conversation with in Signal or anyone whose message request you’ve accepted. If you would rather choose to share your Stories with a smaller subset of people, you can create a custom Story.
In a series of cancellations, HBO has managed to disappoint many viewers as of late. Now, “Westworld” fans will be among them. “Westworld,” created by Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, had the potential to be the network’s next “Game of Thrones.”. A prolific investor in climate tech companies in Canada is back with a second fund for “low-carbon technologies” — only this time the firm plans to pump less money into the scene, over a longer period of time. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) came out with a new, $400 million climate tech fund on Wednesday, which it called a “renewed commitment” to help build “world-class Canadian clean tech” companies. The BDC is owned by the state and was set up to drive economic development in Canada.Spinning out of top U.K. universities Cambridge University and UCL, Carbon Re just raised £4.2 million ($4.8 million) in a bid to tackle the gigatonnes of carbon emissions spewing forth from the traditional thorn-in-climate-change-side cement industry. The company says it is building state-of-the-art AI to decarbonize energy-intensive industries. It claims that its “Delta Zero AI” platform could potentially reduce more than 50 kilotonnes of CO2 emissions per plant.Bilt Rewards, which works with some of the country’s largest multifamily owners and operators to create loyalty programs and a co-branded credit card for property renters, entered unicorn status after securing $150 million in a growth round led by Left Lane Capital. Today’s investment raises that to $1.5 billion and gives the company about $213 million in total funding since the company launched in June 2021 out of Kairos, the startup studio led by Bilt founder and CEO Ankur Jain. The company’s loyalty program and payment platform was rolled out to more than 2.5 million apartment units across the country so far, Jain told TechCrunch.
Amazon has introduced a new price tier for Prime Video in India, making the on-demand video streaming service even more affordable as it races to court customers in the South Asian market where it competes with giants including Disney’s Hotstar, Netflix and Times Internet-backed MX Player. The e-commerce group is offering the yearly subscription to Prime Video Mobile Edition, an affordable tier it introduced last year, at 599 Indian rupees, or $7.30. At this price, it’s the cheapest way to subscribe to Amazon’s on-demand video streaming service in the country.Redstone and EnjoyVenture have combined forces to create Human Impact Capital (HIC), Germany’s first dedicated scial impact VC fund. The fund will deploy cash into digital business models focusing on health, education and “living,” and explicitly invests to have an impact along sustainable development goals. “We are convinced that innovation is key to overcoming the biggest social challenges of our time, and we are dedicated to contributing to a better future and supporting innovation through investments in social impact startups,” said Paul in an interview with TechCrunch.The new discussion group enables more people to be included and features voice and video calls for up to 32 people, as well as emojis galore, polls and large file sharing, Sarah reports. Unfortunately, it is a layoffs kind of day, so head down to Big Tech Inc. if you can stomach reading more. “Most designers don’t have real-life manufacturing experience and they are drawing things that aren’t useable by the factory,” Xianfeng Wang, founder and CEO of Pacdora, tells TechCrunch.Made.com, a U.K.-based e-commerce company that sells furniture and related home accessories across seven European markets, is bracing for insolvency as it confirmed plans to appoint administrators after failing to find a buyer. Founded in 2010, Made.com emerged as something of a darling in the U.K. startup sphere for the way it worked with select partners to optimize the entire furniture design and manufacturing process, while keeping its overhead down through a mostly online platform (though it has dabbled with physical outlets through the years). Today’s news comes a little more than a year after the London-headquartered company went public on the London Stock Exchange, a move that immediately saw its shares fall 7% on its first day of trading.Healthcare benefits are great, but navigating them often isn’t. HealthJoy wants to make the experience more seamless for employees, while helping HR departments reduce the number of underutilized benefits. The Chicago-based company announced today it has raised $60 million in Series D funding, led by Valspring Capital with participation from Endeavour Vision and CIBC Innovation Banking.Twitter CMO Leslie Berland is the latest executive leaving the social network, just days into its Elon Musk era, Bloomberg and the New York Times report. Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg also writes that Jean-Philippe Maheu, the Vice President of Global Client Solutions, is leaving the company. Berland hasn’t said anything publicly about the job change yet, other than tweeting out a simple blue heart emoji.